Friday, September 28, 2007

Mustache Update As Promised

This week my wife called me and told me my daughter cried and locked herself in the bathroom when she heard I had a mustache. She asked that I shave it off before I come home. OHHH THAT WILL HAPPEN. This thing which now calls my top lip home is horrible. It is very difficult for me. I guess the whole purpose of War Whiskers is all about it not being easy. It is not easy for the people of Iraq to come to terms and take the appropriate actions to become a thriving nation. Much like it is very difficult for me to live with this thing! It makes a horrible crunching noise when I drink water. Its grown to the point where it catches the corner of my eye. I always think there is some kind of bug on my lip. Besides that, it always scares me when I catch a glance of it in a mirror. With that said, my co-worker and currently the one I hold ultimately responsible for my new look, which kind of reminds me of my dad...brought it to my attention, we (Freedom Journal Iraq) might be the most mustached news team EVER. 7 out of 8 of us are rocking the War Whiskers. (Poor Timmy is too young to grow a mustache! We love him anyway.)
Here are some pics we took today.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What Will I Miss? What Won't I Miss?

I'm about two weeks out from returning back to my wife and kids. My first weekend home has already been booked out to playing with the kids, quite time with my wife, and NFL Sunday...actually on Sunday. Complete with Margaritas, salsa verde, and chips. The following is a list of things I'll miss and not miss after I leave:

What will I miss:
1) Seeing the Al Rasheed everyday on the way to work. The events that happened in that building have changed me forever.
2) BACON! As little or as much as I want.
3) A sense of duty and accomplishment.
4) A routine that rarely changes.
5) The smell of eucalyptus trees.
6) Working with my new VO friends. (I will keep in touch!)

What I won't miss:
1) BACON! As little or as much as I want.
2) Any sort of meat product in mass quantities.
4) Carrying a weapon 24/7.
5) A routine that rarely changes.
6) Seeing the Al Radheed. It often brings tears to my eyes.
7) DIRT EVERYWHERE! Did you know I'm allergic to dust?
8) Salt stains because I sweat too much.
9) Doing laundry at 5AM in the same place nasty dudes do.

fyi. Mustache update coming soon. It is really starting to grow in. Don't forget to vote...even if I spelled "Awful" wrong.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Decisions Part 2- The Worse

My grandpa once told me everyday I'd have dozens of decisions to make. He told me decisions were easy to make...but the consequences of my decisions could be tough to bear. Well a month ago, I made the worse decision of my life!

In an attempt to build the broadcasters I work with into a fine tuned team, I bet them they couldn't achieve what seemed to be an impossible goal. By now I hope you've read my blog, my co-worker's blog!, and the Air Force Times! Some of you may have even clicked over to the Multi-National Force Iraq website to see me on catch up on all the progress Coalition Forces are making throughout Iraq! I want to thank my friends and family who sent some real nice words:

Mom "I've watched the news three times, I don't see a mustache!"
Lindsey "Mustaches are creepy!"
I will stop there...because today I have proof for all of you. More importantly, proof of the sage advice that lead this blog...THE CONSEQUENCES OF SOME DECISIONS COULD BE TOUGH TO BEAR!!!

Here is my co-workers latest War Whiskers updated picture:

Decisions Part 1- The Best

My grandpa once told me everyday I'd have dozens of decisions to make. He told me decisions were easy to make...but the consequences of my decisions could be tough to bear. Well 10 years ago today, I made the best decision of my life!

Christmas 06

Brugge 03?

My wife...well is my life...and she completes me. Whoever said opposites attract...WAS RIGHT! She is quite and complete. I'm loud and quick. She is cautious and sure. I'm free and spirited. I think the differences stop there. She loves with all of heart, I wear my heart on my sleeve. She is a perfect compliment. She also is a fantastic mom...she always puts the kids first and loves them completely!

Summer 07

Summer 07

The first 10 years have been full of adventure. I'm sure the next 10 years will be the same. Many decisions were made, some good, some not so good. But at the end of the day...I'm ok with every one of them we made!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I've Lost A Bet...Or Have I???

It all started about two and a half months ago when I moved from radio into the news department. My #2 authored this blog! If you decide not to click the link, here is a quick excerpt:

So, me and some of the guys here are letting our lustrous lip locks grow out over the course of our deployment. As you can see, this is quite a monumental task for some. And it is not for the faint of heart or lily livered. Two "men" (I use the term loosely) have already broken the pact we made and shaved because people told them they looked silly. And theirs looked about 57 times better than mine does. I am fully aware that by the end of my time in Iraq, there will still be no part of my mustache that you won't be able to see straight through, not unlike the fine, downy sheen of a fresh picked peach. But I am undeterred. Because these whiskers, all 26 or so of them, stand for something. I like to think of them as a microcosm of Iraq.

Nick goes on to tie his horrible looking caterpillar mustache to the overall war effort and wraps everything up with this:

Once again, we are HERE. Now. We won't get a second chance at this, and if we don't get it right, we'll face a threat that doesn't care about who you voted for or what your bumper stickers say. Watch the news, read up on what's going on over here. We're closer than we've ever been. The Surge is working, the Government of Iraq is progressing (albeit not quickly enough for some), and the people here want to see their government succeed. None of this will happen if we pull out too soon. We've started this mustache. Let's not shave before giving it a chance to grow.

I laughed at these horrible mustache as they began to slowly appear atop several of my co-workers lips. I thought for sure this silly idea would never prove to have staying power. Within the first two weeks of this plan several co-workers quickly shaved their lips. I had been asked several times to grow my mustache out! Ha I said. Do you know who you're asking to grow a mustache? I'm one of the most vain persons you've ever met. Really...Look up Merriam Websters definition of vain...It's my picture! So I said "NO!" Surely this poorly plotted plan would flop! NOPE! Instead it gained speed. Air Force Times picked it up! Read more...

Well as I took over the news team...there were many nights where we stayed late into the night putting together the nightly newscast. At the time, we had eight broadcasters working as individuals. We were working hard, but not smart. There were some highs, and some lows. After several morning meetings/mentoring/training/team building...the eight slowly began to work as a team. In a almost last ditch effort to bring them the final ten-yards to being a full-fledged team...I challenged them. I said if they could get the newscast done five straight nights by 5:30, I would grow a mustache to support the cause...I thought surely even if we hit our stride, there were enough uncontrollable variables that would prevent us from completing this task five consecutive nights.

WELL! It happened. Today was the fifth straight night...and it was a challenge. We had a no-notice press conference today that lasted nearly three hours. Yet, some how, we still pulled it off. So today, I begin to grow out my lip hair in support of my team. A team, I'm very proud to be apart of. A team, which I can easily say, is the best team I've ever been apart of. A team, who undoubtedly are leaving one hell of a fingerprint on the history of Iraq. Viva Stache!
Here is the latest update!

PS. Go Nick!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Music Soothes The Savage Beast

Its been said, "Music soothes the savage beast," and I agree. Music plays a huge role in my sanity while in Iraq...hell, it plays a big role when I'm not in Iraq. Since I've been in Iraq, there have been several songs that have kept this beast soothed.

10. Ne Yo - Because of You
9. Gwen Steffani - Sweet Escape
8. Mark Ronson - Stop Me!
7. My Chemical Romance - Teenagers
6. Maroon 5 - Makes Me Wonder
5. Coldplay - Fix You
4. The Artic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor
3. White Stripes - Icky Thump
2. Boston - More Than A Feeling
1. John Mayer - Waiting On The World To Change

What songs soothe you?